You may like Glenn Beck or you may not, but he hits the nail on the head in this video segment. Please check it out and forward the video on to all your friends; the ELCA is part of the problem of which he speaks.
It gives me no pleasure to say, but the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has taken the side of those that are against truth and against Israel. The ELCA has chosen the path of hate. They are part of this evil that Mr. Beck so clearly points out.
The ELCA has sided against Israel continually (see here). Our denomination is actively seeking a boycott of Israeli goods and of USA companies which do business with Israel. (see here) One of the leading theologians in the Lutheran church, Carl Braaten said the ELCA is anti-Semitic. (read here) The ELCA calls Israel “occupiers.” They use all kinds of bias rhetoric against Israel. The ELCA condemns Israel at every turn, yet they say nothing about the atrocities committed against the Jews. The ELCA website even says that Christians who support Israel are following heresy and these Christians “are actually anti-Semitic.” (see here)
David Housholder, former ELCA pastor and current blogger on an official ELCA website, just recently wrote questioning whether the people in Israel are really Biblical Jews. Later he says “(t)he Bible is ambiguous as to whether Israel is a physical or a spiritual nation.” (see here and here)
So why is our denomination taking the opinions and talking points put out by anti-Semitic terrorists as its own? The ELCA is taking it in and regurgitating this anti-Semitic propaganda. Its wrong! Stand up to it, denounce it and reject it.
In a time when hate towards Israel grows every day, we need to stand for the truth. I agree with Mr. Beck. I will stand with Israel.
I expect to send out the Exposing the ELCA newsletter next week, so please keep an eye out for it. If you haven't signed up to get the newsletter you can do so by scrolling down this page to the newsletter sign up box on the right hand side of the page. If you are reading this blog using Facebook, you can sign up by going here and the email entry box will be on the right hand side of the page. Thanks!
Yes, the ELCA affiliated Wartburg college in Waverly, Iowa is at it again. The 6th Annual Drag Show will be held on Saturday, March 26 Neumann Auditorium. (see here) "This year's theme is 'We Are Who We Are', celebrating everyone being themselves and enjoying life to the fullest!"
Exposing the ELCA reported on the Wartburg's drag show last year. (read here)
Would Jesus participate as an observer or performer at a drag show? Never. So why are we contributing to a college that endorses such behavior?
Universalism is a teaching that is widely held in the ELCA. (see here) It is very apparent to anyone who isn’t blindly loyal to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (Richfield, WI) is in the process of voting to leave the ELCA. I would like to direct you to a document they produced in which they answered this question, “Has the ELCA really changed the basic message of the Christian faith?”
Here is Shepherd of the Hills Church's answer:“While the official teaching of the ELCA is sound,
the actual teaching seen in our seminaries, church
publications, and pronouncements by pastors and
leaders is often very different. Gradually, the ELCA
has de‐emphasized the basic message of sin,
repentance, faith, and salvation through Jesus
Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, and on
Easter, victory over Satan and death (2nd Timothy
1:10). In its place, we read and hear several
alternative messages.One popular ELCA message is the gospel of
affirmation. This teaching suggests that the good
news is that God loves and affirms everyone,
regardless of their faith, life style choices, etc.
There never is a need for real repentance because
God is never angry with us. Another misleading
teaching common in ELCA sources says that Jesus
hgives us the example, and the Holy Spirit gives us
the power, to build the Kingdom of God on earth ‐
‐ by fighting hunger and poverty, promoting
peace, fighting racism, sexism, hetero‐sexism, and
other oppressions, and building brotherhood and
sisterhood on earth by honoring all sincere faiths
as paths to God.The ELCA has lost focus on our five‐hundred year
old Law/Gospel balance by over‐focusing on the
Gospel (Saved by Grace ‐ Eph. 2:8) at the expense
of the Law (The 10 Commandments). The classic
view is that the Law convicts us of our sin and the
Gospel is the good news that God saves us from
the punishment we deserve by the sacrificial
death of Christ. Grace is defined as “undeserved
love.” Today grace is being redefined to say that
God is always affirming us, and nothing else. This
distorts a biblical understanding of love, where
love includes the “tough love” that prunes our
rebellious hearts into greater Christ‐likeness.
We find evidence for this in the fact that most
ELCA produced Sunday school curriculum,
catechism materials, adult bible studies, the
Lutheran magazine, ELCA website, etc., fail to
plainly explain that we are sinners, doomed to
death, unless we receive Christ with faith. This
shows us that the working theology of the ELCA is
universalism – blanket salvation for everyone,
regardless of whether they know Christ.”
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church will be taking their second vote on leaving the ELCA June 2011.
Exposing the ELCA asked its readers to finish this statement:
"My pastor stands with -"
"the ELCA" was chosen by 40.66% of those responding (111 individuals)
"Scripture" was chosen by 59.34% of those responding (162 individuals)
Total individuals who responded to this poll: 273
The Bible teaches that we need to believe in Christ. John 3:16-18 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
The teaching of universalism, in essence, says that everyone will go to heaven no matter what they do, think, believe or worship. This is not Biblical and it is very dangerous. People will go to hell because they believe in universalism and not Christ. Yet here is a Luther Seminary (ELCA) professor arguing the merits of universalism and encouraging the preaching of this heresy.
“The Rob Bell Controversy: Does Anyone Go To Hell?“ by David Lose, Director, Center for Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary. (read here)
For more information on the ELCA’s support and teaching of universalism/ universal salvation see here.
I know most of you are concerned with the direction of the ELCA. You’re upset and scared seeing your denomination leave the authority of scripture to follow their own ways. We all should be. You are witness to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s teachings, which are putting listeners eternal destination at stake; you see the ELCA’s low view of Scripture; your heart aches for the victims of abortion which this denomination supports; you see grave evidence that shows that the ELCA has turned its back on God’s truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I encourage you to inform your fellow congregation members about all these things and more. But please don’t stop there. The ELCA is a denomination of 4.5 million people. They are teaching and preaching a false gospel to anyone who will listen. The ELCA is leading people away from Jesus.
Because of this, I am asking all readers to please write a “letter to the editor” of your local newspaper and to one of your state’s larger newspapers to help inform people, so that they will know the truth. It is out of love that we should let people know what is going on and what is really being taught in the ELCA. God tells us “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
Expose the ELCA so that people are not deceived. It is the loving thing to do. Let’s do this together. To God be the glory!
One would think that ELCA pastors, bishops and teachers would believe Scripture. However all one has to do is read, “The Clergy Letter - from American Christian clergy: An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science,” to find that most do not.
Over 1500 ELCA leaders signed this letter which states,
“the overwhelming majority (of Christians) do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth.”
Make no mistake, what these Christian leaders are saying is that they do not believe what the Bible actually says. They are calling the story about creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah’s ark, lies. These ELCA leaders think they know better than Jesus, the Old and New Testament writers, and 2000 years of Christians, who knew these stories to be true. (read more here)
The letter goes on to say, “We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as ‘one theory among others’ is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.”
Really? So those that believe God’s account of creation, are “ignorant?” Maybe these religious elites should read from this website about the many scientists who are skeptical of Darwinism. (read here and download the list of scientists who signed "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.")
More from the letter, “We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris.”
Let me get this straight, now these “Christian” leaders, who say that the Biblical account of creation is not true, are now telling us that if we believe God’s account of creation we are REJECTING God’s Will?
Finally the letter says, “We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge.” (read here)
Here are “Christian” leaders urging school boards to have the teaching of evolution be a “core component of HUMAN knowledge.” These are the people teaching us and our children about Jesus and the Bible?
Someone may ask, “What’s the big deal?” “Who cares if ELCA leaders and pastors don’t believe what the Bible says about creation?”
Here are a few quotes that highlight why we should care:
"More cases of loss of religious faith can be traced to the theory of evolution--- than anything else." - Martin Lings, quoted in Christian Century July, 1982
“Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented.” - Noted evolutionist, Professor Will Provine, in “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life.”
"Any creationist lawyer who got me on the stand could instantly win over the jury simply by asking me: 'Has your knowledge of evolution influenced you in the direction of becoming an atheist?' I would have to answer yes and, at one stroke, I would have lost the jury." - Noted evolutionist, Dr. Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2008) p. 93
While I was studying at an ELCA seminary, the Dean of Students told me that not one ELCA seminary professor in the United States believes Adam and Eve were real people. I couldn’t believe that this would be true, but after viewing the signatures of the letter, it seems that the Dean’s statement is true. Sadly, seminary professors’ beliefs are being picked up by their students, our ELCA pastors.
Linked at the end of this blog is the list of current and retired ELCA pastors, ELCA seminary professors, ELCA college professors, ELCA seminary presidents and ELCA Bishops who agree with this letter and signed it. Some of the notable signers are: Bishop Allan Bjornberg (ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod), Bishop Paul J. Blom - Houston, Texas, Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, The Rev. Stacy Boorn (herchurch), The Rev. Michael Cooper-White, D.D., (President - Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA), Bishop Ralph W. Dunkin (West Virginia -Western Maryland Synod), The Rev. James Kenneth Echols, Ph.D. (President - Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago), The Rev. Paul W. Egertson, Ph.D. (Bishop Emeritus - Southwest California Synod), The Rev. Anita C. Hill, The Rev. B. Penrose Hoover (Bishop - Lower Susquehanna Synod), The Rev. Robert L. Isaksen, (Retired ELCA Pastor and Bishop of the New England Synod), The Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, Kevin S. Kanouse, (Bishop Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod), Paul R. Landahl (Bishop Metropolitan Chicago Synod), Bishop April Ulring Larson (La Crosse Area Synod), The Rev. Duane H. Larson, PhD., (President - Wartburg Theological Seminary), The Rev. Felipe Lozada-Montanez (Bishop of the Caribbean Synod of the ELCA), The Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Mansholt (Bishop Central States Synod), The Rev. Robert W. Mattheis (Bishop Emeritus, Sierra Pacific Synod), The Rev. George Paul Mocko (Bishop Emeritus, Delaware-Maryland Synod), Bishop David G. Mullen (Sierra Pacific Synod), Bishop Dean W. Nelson (Southwest California Synod), Bishop Margaret G. Payne (New England Synod), The Rev. Dr. Ted Peters (Interim President - Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), The Rev. Dr. Jerry L. Schmalenberger (Retired President - Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), Bishop David R. Strobel (Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod), The Rev. Dr. Christopher M. Thomforde (President - St. Olaf College), Bishop Ron Warren (ELCA Southeastern Synod), The Rev. Dr. Howard E. Wennes (Retired Bishop ELCA), The Rev. Paul M. Werger, (Bishop Emeritus - Southeastern Iowa Synod) and The Rev. Dr. Herman Yoos (Bishop - South Carolina Synod).
More than 12,000 American pastors signed this letter and over 1500 of them are Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leaders. By the way, these are just the signers who listed “ELCA” or “Evangelical Lutheran Church in America” with their signature (for the most part). There are many more signers who only listed their Lutheran church’s name. I would estimate there are at least 350 Lutheran pastors who did this and most of those would be ELCA pastors, I’d assume.
Check and see if your pastor signed the letter. I’ve linked to it because of the vast space needed to list them all. See the list of ELCA leaders here.
News coming out of ELCA-affiliated California Lutheran University (CLU) in Thousand Oaks, California: “Cal Lutheran Student Senate Proposes Change to Pro-Christian Constitution.” (read here) Seems that the CLU student senate is proposing to take the phrase, "to further Christian growth" out of their constitution and replace it with the following: "to inspire the maturity of faith and reason in an environment of Lutheran tradition.” The article indicates that the student senate is doing this "in hopes of introducing more inclusive and encompassing language."
The student senate is trying to change the wording of the constitution from something that has a clear Christian emphasis to something much more ambiguous and universal.
Why are student leaders at an ELCA supported university attempting to distance themselves from helping to “further Christian growth?” The CLU community should embrace the Christian foundations of the school, or at least pretend to for their Lutheran donors’ sake. The student senate is acting like they are ashamed of being a Christian school. Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." Mark 8:38
The more I read about ELCA colleges, (see here) the more I realize that these institutions have a greater interest in bringing the ways of the world into the schools rather than teaching Christianity and the truth of Scriptures and growing student’s Christian faith, providing a Christian learning environment.
Shouldn’t ELCA funded institutions be raising up students with strong Christian faith and values? Equipping and preparing students who are able to apply their Christian faith in their future careers and relationships? Unfortunately, the opposite seems to be the case.
I hope the students of CLU reject the proposed change to the constitution. We will see.